Former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was fatally shot on Friday while speaking at a campaign rally ahead of Japan’s national elections in Nara, near Kyoto.
Investigators are trying to uncover the motives behind Abe’s assassination. The shooter denied political motivations but said he had planned the attack for months.
Tetsuya Yamagami, 41, was arrested at the scene. An unemployed former sailor in Japan's maritime armed forces, Yamagami confessed to using a handmade firearm to assassinate the former Prime Minister. Police searched the suspect's home and found other homemade weapons, including explosives.
Friday’s assassination happened in a country with one of the world’s lowest rates of gun crimes due to the strict laws on owning firearms. Japan reported only one person killed by gun violence in 2021 compared with more than 45,000 firearm deaths in the U.S. that same year.
Tomoaki Onizuka, Nara's head of prefectural police, admitted there were problems in security and apologized for failing to prevent the attack.